These 4 speedlights will give you the biggest bang for your buck

best cheap speedlights 11552026  paparazzi photographer in action
Yongnuo/123RF
Whether you’re in need of more light inside a dim wedding venue, or are hoping to dabble in the world of studio lighting, one of the most cost-effective means of getting into artificial lighting is to purchase a speedlight. These devices, for the unfamiliar, are small flash modules that attach to cameras and accessories using an integrated hot shoe mount. They’re powered via batteries, most often AA, and can be fired either wirelessly or through the hot shoe when attached to a camera. They’re small — at least, compared to more heavy-duty studio lights — self-contained, and offer an incredible amount of lighting for their size and price.

Large camera companies — such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. — make a handful of speedlights, but if you’re looking for something a little more affordable, it’s best to go the third-party route. To help you navigate the crowded market, we’ve rounded up four of the best budget speedlight offerings that cover a range of prices and power – all costing $70 or less.

Neewer NW-610II

best cheap speedlights neewer nw 610ii thumb

If you like to pack light, or simply have a smaller camera setup, it might make sense to go for a smaller speedlight. One of the best you’re going to find is the Neewer NW-610II, a universal speedlight designed to work with everything from mirrorless to DSLR cameras.

The device’s streamlined design is smaller than its full-sized counterparts, but it still packs a punch with a guide number of 27 (the higher the number, the more powerful the light). Its flash head is also adjustable in locking increments of 0, 60, 75, and 90 degrees, which offers greater creative control than other compact speedlights. The Neewer NW-610II is powered by two AA batteries, which allow it to fire off somewhere between 100 and 680 flashes, depending on the power and type of battery you use.

Price: $40

Buy one now from:

Amazon

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash

Moving on up, both in size and power, we have Amazon’s proprietary speedlight, the AmazonBasics Electronic Flash. Designed specifically with DSLRs in mind, this speedlight is a bit larger than our last pick, yet, it offers a bit more functionality because of it.

Its guide number is 33 — making it only marginally more powerful — but its rotating/tilting head, built-in diffuser, and eight brightness levels allow for more control over where the flash is facing when fired.

Amazon says it works with both Canon and Nikon cameras, but in manual mode, it should work with most any camera. The flash even includes an integrated slave mode for triggering multiple units at once, so long as you have a master unit attached to your camera.

Price: $28

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Yongnuo YN560 IV

Yongnuo YN560 IV

If you need something more robust than Amazon’s basic offering, Yongnuo’s YN560 IV might be what you’re looking for. The fourth-gen of the affordable speedlight that arguably started the budget trend, the YN 560IV is a solid iteration of what was already an impressive speedlight for the value.

Inside the YN560 IV is a wireless triggering system that works alone, or hand-in-hand with Yongnuo’s collection of radio transmitters, thus helping to create a wireless lighting setup that doesn’t rely on fickle, visual-based triggers.

The speedlight still lacks through the lens (TTL) control, but considering the price, manual is to be expected. The guide number is 58, too, so you should be getting a great deal more power from this than Amazon’s aforementioned offering.

Price: $70

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Neewer NW660 III

Neewer NW660 III

Neewer has made its name known with an excellent lineup of wears, many of which, like the aforementioned NW-610II, are just as affordable as those from other third-party manufacturers. This is namely because the company’s speedlights tout just as many, if not more, features than you’d find on most competing flashes that fall within the same price range — just take the NW660 III as a prime example.

This speedlight features a built-in, 2.4GHz wireless triggering system, which works alongside Neewer’s other speedlights and wireless triggers to create a wireless workflow. Other features include an E-TTL mode, high-speed sync, rear-curtain sync, and high-speed bursts that allow for up to 12 flashes a second.

Whether used alone on your hotshoe or in conjunction with other flash systems, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more capable speedlight at this price point.

Price: $65

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Mobile

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next phone, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

If you weren't already aware, USB-C is quickly becoming mainstream. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone.
Deals

How to create a smart living room for under $250

By being shrewd about which brands and products you invest in, you can quickly and easily turn your house into a home that's “smart,” and that's true even if you’re starting from scratch.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

Instagram is testing a new way for you to look through your feed

Instagram is constantly tweaking its app to help give its users the best experience possible, so how do you like the sound of tapping — instead of swiping — to look through your feed?
Photography

Photography News: Raw edits on iPad and an A.I. research lab for PicsArt

In this week's photography news, Canon launched an iPad app that allows for RAW edits on the go. Popular mobile editing app PicsArt now has a research lab dedicated entirely to A.I.-powered tools.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
News

Kodak’s ‘Digitizing Box’ service saves precious memories stuck on old media

If you've been meaning to convert your old family photos, videotapes, films, and audio recordings to digital but never seem to get around to it, then a new service from Kodak may prompt you to add it to your "to-do" list again.
Photography

You can finally throw away your PC; Photoshop is coming to the iPad

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.